Tuesday, 23 August 2016

I got married!

On 12 August 2016, Christopher and I got married and became Mr & Mr Murphy-Williams! 

We got married at City Hall in Cardiff, which is 18 years younger than our house in Splott!

It was a tiny, but perfect wedding. We only had immediate family - not just because we wanted to keep the costs down, but because we only wanted the closest people to share our day. Getting married is quite an intimate thing, to us anyway - declaring our love and commitment to each other felt really special, so we had our specialest family around us!

Our lovely photographer, Emily Wells (http://www.emilywells.co.uk/) absolutely captured the day. These are just a few of the photographs. 

My Mam and Dad made the wooden hearts as name places, and they doubled as wedding favours too! I sang a song with my niece - a song I wrote for Chris two months after we met - all about proposing to someone... turned out pretty accurate :)

The reception at Cameo Wellfield Road was perfect. Chris and I eat there all the time anyway, the food is always superb, so when we were looking for a reception venue we popped in to see if they could accommodate us. I can't say enough good things about Cameo. The preparation was amazing, the service faultless, and the food? It was delicious! Everything we'd hoped for and more. Sally and her team were friendly, efficient and so enthusiastic! Honestly, I think they were as excited and Chris and I were. If you're thinking of somewhere for a small, perfect reception, then you can't get better than Cameo Wellfield Road (http://cameoclub.co.uk/wellfield-welcome/)

Or if you want a delicious breakfast, or lunch, or Sunday dinner! They also do great cocktails, and the wine is lovely too!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Oscar & me

Just wanted to share a photo of Oscar laughing, and me trying on a shirt. No reason other than we both look cool!


Pokémon Go

I am addicted. It's such good fun. I am very fed up of all the snarky comments and people being horrible about it - it's a game! Nobody is forcing you to play it! Stop being such a misery guts over a fucking game! You're not being big or clever by not liking something that lots of people like - you just come across as grumpy and horrible.

It helps people with their mental health, it makes kids want to go out for a walk, and it's super fun! One of my favourite things is to take a screengrab when the pokémon is being cute!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Onion and oregano white soda bread

This recipe is so quick and easy. It makes a delicious loaf that's great with soup or stew, and you can use it for sandwiches the day after. It doesn't keep very well, but that's not a problem as it gets eaten up straight away!

350g plain flour
50g self raising flour
2 heaped tsp onion granules
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicaronate of soda
1 tsp sugar
330ml buttermilk

If you can't find buttermilk, you can make your own really easily. Just add two tablespoons of lemon juice to the 330ml of milk, and give it a stir. The lemon juice sours the milk and makes it a bit thicker.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 8 / 230 C - very hot.
Sift the flour and add the rest of the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl, give it all a quick stir with a spoon.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk. 
Bring together quickly to form a sloppy, wet dough. Do not over mix or your loaf will be tough!
Turn the dough on to a baking sheet, and scrape it into a round. 
Sprinkle some flour on the top, and slash three times with a sharp knife.
Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to gas mark 6 / 200 C, and bake for a further 25-35 minutes.
When ready, the loaf will sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Leave to cool on a wire rack - and don't worry if it feels tough, it softens when cooled.

Rosemary and raisin
Garlic and cheese

I'm looking forward to trying different flavours.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Charlotte Church - The Last Mermaid - review

★ - five stars

I'm nearly at a loss for words. I don't think I've ever been to the theatre and enjoyed myself so much. I made a  venn diagram of some of the influences I could see last night:

I wasn't aware that it was a kid's show until today. It certainly kept the adults entertained, as it worked on more than one level. 

The set design and lighting was beautiful. Shimmery shiny, gossamer silk, seaweed and water... the costumes were gorgeous. sumptuous, on point and decadent. Church was obviously moved by Dylan Thomas' words in Under Milk Wood, the whispered opening lines sounded like Thomas. The three singers/dancers who represented the sea, sang in unison, like a Greek chorus. The first movement was just beautiful: frenetic, but restrained. Energy contained, and controlled. Then when the last mermaid was released from her (shell? Womb?) the music and dancing was glorious.

The plastic bag dance was perfect, and hinted at the eco message of the play. Is it a play? It is, by turns, a dance, a play, an opera, a mime performance, a puppet show. It is all of these things, and none. A whole that is so much greater than its parts. The drowning fisherman moved like a man underwater - I forgot I was in a theatre, I thought I was viewing a huge water tank. The man who played him should be nominated for some sort of underwater dancing award.

The whale! Oh my days, the whale. I loved the tenor and bass singers who sang the whale, I loved their costumes, and I loved the projected presentation of the whale. A little boy sat next to me, tugged his Mum's sleeve and said "Mammy! Eye!" before he dropped his marshmallows. I genuinely had goosebumps when the whale turned her into a human - then laughed out loud at the bit on the beach. "My legs. My legs in the sun!"

My friend Nina described the next movement as "the Depeche Mode bit", I described it as "the Kraftwerk/Daft Punk bit". It was a spectacular spectacular.

Then things got a bit darker. The last mermaid's cries of "my whale" brought tears to my eyes. Church's voice was at its strongest and surest here, full of grief and love.

I won't give away the ending, it was beautiful. None of the story was overtold. None of it was laid on thick. You either got it, or you didn't. And even if you didn't, you were swept along anyway.

It was fucking magnificent. I want the LP soon please, Charlotte.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Indian wall hanging

We got a beautiful Indian (we think) wall hanging from a charity shop. It's up in our dining room, which persuaded us to theme that room as our "world" room. We have lots of lovely things from all over the world - a hand carved aboriginal lizard that my Mamgu brought from the outback in Australia; some lovely Shiva and Ganesha  statues that I got from a lovely little hippy shop I used to work in; lanterns and frames and all sorts of things.

We're also going to make curtains out of recycled saris and scarves, to match the room.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Charity shop selfie

Part of my new job is to take photographs to illustrate the stories I write. I spent an afternoon at one of our charity shops, taking photographs of a professional photographer (who is also a volunteer) taking photographs of the shop volunteers. How very meta!

One of the photos had one of those perfectly timed, serendipitous moment; an older lady walked past and looked to see what was going on just as I preess3ed the shutter release. Perfect!

I also took a selfie, but I've changed my hair again since then :)

Gingerbread & other stories

While I (finally) finish  writing my novel "Greenboy", I thought I'd publish a collection of short stories. They're all loosely based on folklore and fairtyales, both rural and urban, Welsh and English, and almost exclusively queer. They're gay re-tellings of known stories, or completely made up contemporary tales for modern fairies.

Here's the contents/tracklisting:
 1. The kissing tree
 2. Fairy tale
 3. Hiraeth and the ladybird

 4. The three sons of Gwydion and Gilfaethwy
 5. Gwydion and Blodeuben
 6. Y Gwernfrenin (The Erlking)
 7. Footprints in the Sand

 8. Finding a bible
 9. How to make an egg
10. Gingerbread

11. Days of our lives
12. Reasons

The reason I say 'tracklisting' is that everybody who buys the ebook, will get a voucher to download a whole LP of music for free. Each short story will have its own music track, evoking the mood and feel of the story.
'Fairy tale', 'Days of our lives', and 'Finding a bible' have all been previously published, the rest have been marked as "too weird to publish" by all of the publishing houses I've shown them to. Everybody wants me to write modern gay urban - but I'm only one and a bit of those things! I was brought up on Tolkien and The Mabinogion; I was told stories by both Grandmothers of ancient Welsh Kings, fairies and goblins; it's in my soul.

I thought that to show that I have more in me than the modern gay urban being pushed on to me (yes I'm gay, and yes I live in the big city, but I'm not very modern - my soul is green) I'd self publish this, and make an album of weird music, to go with my weird words.

I'm planning to make it free for a while before it goes up to £1.50 or something. It's not for making money, it's for expressing myself. There will also be some poems in it, and maybe a knitting or crochet pattern too. Like I said, I'm a weirdo: unashamedly so!

Watercolour sketch

I just found this little watercolour sketch I made, ooh, probably about 22 years ago!

Splott beach

Well who knew there was a beach in Splott? I've lived in Splott for nearly ten years and I first heard about it a few weeks ago. I did a quick Google and one of the first hits was Doc Mortimer's blog.  I'm not going to link to it as I didn't think it was very nice, to be honest.

Yes the beach is made up of debris from old Victorian factories that fell into the sea, yes there are wave-worn bricks and bits of glass... but it's beautiful. I'm going to make a film about it. I love Splott, it's the place in Cardiff I've lived in longest, and where I've made my home. Chris and I are currently renovating the house, and have spent the last few years really getting to know the area. Shirley Bassey used to live here, and I walk the dog down the road she used to play on as a child. I walk him past grass verges that used to be pubs where working class people spent their wages on a Friday having a pint or two.

I'm trying my best to get Cardiff Council to reopen an unused park to turn it into a community garden for the area. I run a flytipping and litter action group called Tidy STAR. I sing in a choir in Splott. My band has band practice every Thursday in Splott. I'm an adopted Splott boy!

The Bugs Bunny is a cereal toy from 1984 - which means it's older than Christopher!

Related Posts with Thumbnails